National Institute of Polar Research

Home>Polar Science Museum

Polar Science Museum

Providing the public with information and topics on “Antarctic and Arctic Research Today”

The National Institute of Polar Research Polar Science Museum provides information on historical as well as current state-of-the-art research activities and results in an easy-to-understand forum. Here, visitors can touch and experience objects from the present day to 4.6 billion years ago. Brief descriptions on our more popular exhibits are provided below.

Aurora Theater

This dome-shaped miniature omni-theater shows images of the aurora recorded in the Antarctic and Arctic projected on a planetarium style screen four meters in diameter. The images are produced from actual recorded data from our data.

Antarctic Ice

We have collected ice mass from the vicinity of the Syowa station Iceberg. Visitors can touch the actual ice, within which ancient air remains captured.


Our exhibits include a partial collection of meteor from Antarctic. The collection includes remarkable meteorites from the Moon and Mars.

Dagik Earth
(Dagik: Data-showcase system for Geoscience In Kml)

This is a visualization of the Earth created with geoscience data. At this exhibit, visitors can rotate the Earth’s image by themselves using a trackball in order to see the ozone layer hole and other changing Earth features.

3D Aurora

Visitors can see and feel the Aurora with the head-mount at this exhibit, visitors can see and experience an aurora in three dimensions using a head-mounted virtual reality display device. Our museum is the first to ofer this attraction as a permanent exhibit.


The Program of the Antarctic Syowa MST/IS Radar System (PANSY), which consists of 1045 atmospheric radar antennas installed at Japan’s Syowa Station in the Antarctic, provides a unique tool for researchers investigating the Earth’s troposphere and stratosphere layers. Here, visitors can see one of those antennas on display.

Moss pillars

At this exhibit, visitors can view a small moss pillar, which is composed various kinds of moss, algae, and bacteria.

Penguins prey monitoring

Using data logger technology, we have recorded how penguins capture their prey. Visitors can enjoy a movie explaining this state-of-the-art wild animal activity research project.

Syowa Station Live cam

Among our displays is a monitor of showing a view of the Antarctic environment around Syowa station. The view is updated at one-minute intervals via satellite.

Type-KD60 Snow Vehicle

Visitors can climb aboard one of the three Type-KD60 Snow Vehicles that travelled to the South Pole in 1968. The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers certified these vehicles as Mechanical Engineering Heritage No. 65 in 2014.

Bronze Statues of Shakhalin Huskies

These bronze statues, which have been relocated from Tokyo Tower, are monuments created in honor of 15 Sakhalin Huskies that served in the Antarctic.

Also, there are exhibits for children such as “Become a Polar Researcher!” as well as special exhibitions and live video-talk with the Antarctic base.

Live video-talk with Antarctic base

Become a Polar Researcher!

Museum hours 10:00-17:00 (no entry after 16:30)
Closed Sun. / Mon. / National holidays / New Year’s (12/28 – 1/4)
Admission Free
Page Top